Music Business

Songwriters: How To Increase Your Chances If you Live Outside A Music Center

by Marty Dodson
Dec 22, 2017

As a mentor and coach, I am often helping many songwriters that don’t live in a music town.

Here are my ideas for increasing your chances of success as a songwriter if you live outside a music center:

1) Visit as often as you can. Even if it’s just once a year. Some wisely planned “face time” can help you make progress and make connections. Just letting people see your face and hear what’s going on with you can make a difference.

2) Establish a presence on social media. I ran into my BMI rep one time when I had more going on than I had ever had at once. When he saw me, he said “Where have you been? Did you drop off the face of the earth?” That was a wake-up call. I realized that I had to keep people updated on my successes. No one else is going to do that. I started doing Facebook posts and tweeting about my successes and the next time I saw him, he said “Man, you’re on fire!”. Nothing had changed with my situation. I had just let the world know about it.

3) Write with people “in town”. The more you can write with people in the music center of your choice, the more you have legs not the ground working your music. Writing with people in town gives you most of the advantages of being in town without actually being there. And, you don’t have to write with them in person. You can write by Skype or by e-mail. No one will ever know HOW you wrote it. They just want a hit song.

4) Work on writing better songs. We preach this all of the time and people have a hard time believing, but if Clay or I hear a song that we believe is a hit, we will help you get it to the people that can make something happen. In fact, ANY legitimate person in the business would do the same. The key to making things happen is having a song that is undeniably BETTER than anything else in the pile. EVERYTHING you do to help you write better songs increases your chances exponentially.

5) Build your team methodically. Your team includes your co-writers, your PRO, publishers, song pluggers, artists, managers, etc. Anyone you know personally that could help you get something done is “on your team”.

Don’t let living outside of a music center become an excuse. Buckle down. Do what you can to make things happen. Work smart. Have a plan. And work harder than anyone else. If you do all of that, you’ve got a shot.

Write On! ~Marty

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson is a multi-hit songwriter, co-founder of SongTown, and co-author of  The Songwriter’s Guide To Mastering Cowriting and Song Building: Mastering Lyric Writing

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